Why is there a crimp on Cornish pasties?

8 October 2009

At the weekend I went to the Central Highlands Family History Expo in Ballarat and the Cornish Association of Victoria, Ballarat Branch had a really interesting display and lots of useful books and other finding aids to help people with Cornish ancestors. My mother’s grandmother was Cornish so I have an interest in Cornwall and a fondness for Cornish pasties. One of the things I picked up at their stall was a recipe for authentic pasties and there is a little bit of history as well. The pasty was devised as a meal for miners working in the tin mines (and most of my Cornish ancestors were tin miners) and there is a ‘crimp’ in the pasty so that the miners could hold the pasty and eat from the side. They then threw away the crimp to avoid poisoning from the arsenic on their hands. Learning that gave me an even greater appreciation of the life my ancestors lived in Cornwall. My thanks to the Cornish Association for sharing that recipe with attendees.


Shauna has been tracing her own family history since 1977 and is a Fellow of the Queensland Family History Society. In 2009 Shauna received the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO) Services to Family History Award for her achievements in Queensland, Canberra and Victoria.

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